Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Saturday, 3 October 2009 12:23 UK

Famous Scots join 500 mile walk

Olivia Giles and pipers
Olivia Giles had her hands and feet amputated as a result of meningitis.

Celebrities and politicians joined hundreds of fundraisers walking 500 miles in Edinburgh to buy artificial limbs for people in Africa.

The 500 Miles event was the brainchild of Olivia Giles, who lost her hands and feet through illness.

The Proclaimers, whose song inspired the name, and writer Ian Rankin were among those each walking one mile.

Walkers set off one minute apart between 1120 BST and 1930 BST on Saturday to walk 500 miles in total.

Others taking part included chef Nick Nairn, former Scotland goalkeeper Alan Rough, BBC presenter Fred Macaulay, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney and Jack McConnell, the former first minister.

This is about celebrating our mobility and using it to help people who do not have a national health service to support them
Olivia Giles

Staff from the Sheraton Hotel were planning to carry a bed around the course while workers from The One Spa pledged to take part in their dressing gowns.

Mrs Giles, 44, from Edinburgh, had her hands and feet removed in 2002 after contracting meningitis.

The Proclaimers lyrics "I would walk 500 miles" inspired the name of the organisation she founded to provide artificial limbs to disabled people in Malawi and Zambia.

She said: "This is about celebrating our mobility and using it to help people who do not have a national health service to support them if they lose theirs."

All those taking part were setting off from the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, travelling a mile around the capital's Festival Square, before returning to their starting point.



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